Vail wildfire draws fast response, quick result
Early Tuesday fire was out in just more than an hour
At approximately 5:55 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, crews were dispatched to a report of a wildfire on the hill behind the construction site at the Vail Public Works Shop complex at 1289 Elkhorn Drive. A town employee reported seeing flames, and three engines were dispatched from Vail Fire and Emergency Services, as well as a wildland truck from Eagle River Fire Protection District.
Once on scene, crews identified multiple small fires over a quarter acre on town property adjacent to U.S. Forest Service land, and the cause of the fire appeared to be a downed power line.
The fire was extinguished by 7:05 a.m., although crews remained on scene for another couple of hours to complete mop up and ensure no hot spots remained. No injuries or property damage were reported.
Holy Cross Energy is investigating the concurrent power outage in the East Vail area that impacted approximately 330 members. The power was restored for most members in about 90 minutes. Several members were out of power for more than three hours while Holy Cross Energy crews made repairs.
An initial investigation indicates an aspen tree fell through the overhead power line, causing a large amount of fault current on the line. The conductor failed due to the excessive current.
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“We believe all of our automated protection worked precisely as it is supposed to, and we are still investigating the cause for the fire,” Rick Arnhold of Holy Cross Energy said.
In addition to Vail Fire and Emergency Services and Eagle River Fire Protection District, assistance was provided by the Vail Police Department, Holy Cross Energy and the Vail Public Safety Communications Center.
Vail Fire reminds residents that now is the time to protect the community’s wildland-urban interface by preparing your home and family with the Wildfire Ready 5 Steps to Preparedness found at VailGov.com/wildfireready:
- Sign up for EC Alerts or update your preferences at ECAlert.org.
- Share critical household information with emergency responders via Community Connect at CommunityConnect.io/info/co-vail.
- Make your evacuation plan: Vailgov.com/government/departments/police/safety-security/vail-evacuation-plan.
- Get a free wildland fire home assessment of your property: VailWildfire.com.
- Clean the areas around your home to clear potential fuel for fires.
For more information about Vail wildland fire programs, call Wildland Program Manager Paul Cada at 970-477-3475.